40 per cent of top natural search rankings in financial services are aggregator brands

40 per cent of the top five rankings in the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for financial services are aggregators, according to new research by equimedia, the UK largest independent digital media agency.

The research analyses over 3,000 of the most popular financial services search keywords to examine just how much share of voice the aggregators and top brands have across the main financial services markets. The new data is part of equimedia’s latest whitepaper report Is SEO dead for the Financial Service Sector?.

The report’s findings are broken down into eight financial service market-product categories: credit cards, current accounts, insurance, investment, ISA, loans, mortgage and savings. Across most categories, aggregator sites such as Compare the Market, Money Supermarket, Go Compare and Money Saving Expert occupy the top two positions in organic search.

The second most dominant in search results are consumer advice services, such as This is Money, Moneyfacts and Money Advice Service. Among the top ten rankings, they made up 18 per cent of results.

The SEO dominance of aggregators and consumer advice sites means that financial brands are unlikely to have any organic search results visible in the top half of the first page in Google search. Listings at the top of search results pages get the lion’s share of click-throughs, receiving 33 per cent of traffic – compared to 18 per cent for second position, and 11 per cent for the third*. The prevalence of aggregators and consumer advice sites in the top search positions will negatively impact the natural search visibility of financial brands, forcing them to depend on paid search for site volume unless they develop a data driven SEO strategy.

Jonathan Moore, Head of SEO at equimedia said: “The rising cost of “Googleflation” in the financial services paid search market is, thanks to the entry of the aggregator and consumer advice pack, pushing up competition for the primary natural search spots. This has been compounded further by Google’s latest changes to the SERP, where more adverts now appear above organic search results on the home page. Financial brands have been left fighting in a saturated market, and it will no doubt be a definite worry for those who do not have joined up SEO and paid search, or brand building, strategies. SEO for financial services brands isn’t dead, but marketers must look at their search strategies to find other ways to maximize their websites’ natural visibility.”

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